I was listening recently to Eva Cassidy’s recording of Songbird and thought it would be wonderful to see her in concert. Suddenly it hit me that Eva died in 1996. It was then I thought that my music icons seemed to be fading away. Sure, 1996 was a while back, but it only seems like yesterday when we lost Karen Carpenter or just recently Prince. You see my taste in music is purely universal and appreciative. I may not be able to attend concerts of those that have departed, but they do leave an incredible collection of music that I can sing along with.
Today, while I am attempting to be appreciative, I don’t find the music to be as appealing as it once was. Many recordings must use or purposely use auto tune and other computer generated fusions that take away from the simplicity of just singing along. It’s not as fun as it once was with songs. In fact, the sing-along songs of today seem more repetitive and about the beat rather than the story or message. I am a fan of Adele, but I feel the need to have a few stiff drinks and pop a Xanax if I am to sing along. Of course, Adele is gifted and has once of the best vocals since the departing of Amy Winehouse. But at least I could sing along with Amy with some angst and purpose while with Adele I’m ready to break open a box of tissues and share among friends.
I can’t help but think about the song American Pie by Don McLean. There is a verse about “the day the music died.” Of course, that reference has differing meanings for different people. But perhaps our music dies at some point because of an event or tragic loss of our favorite musical artist. There was a time in our lives that we would watch the Grammy awards with excitement either to see our favorite artist win or just for the mere awe of performance value. As time passed we still watch but the enthusiasm has died down, or we turn off entirely thinking, “this isn’t music, its garbage!” Funny, how we start to sound more like our parents.
The Grammy’s are just around the corner, but I’m not so sure I will be watching. I think I’m at the point in my life where the Grammy’s have killed my music or the ability to diversify myself with good music. As a young boy, I used to watch every category just to have a brief moment and education about other genres. The Grammy’s have killed that segment for large corporate sponsorships and pyrotechnic-filled arena jammed concert experiences. Sure, it’s entertaining, but I want to hear music and make a decision about the artistry. Instead, I will watch a movie or something else. I still miss Eva Cassidy and her music. Maybe I should let Pandora pick out several artists similar to her style. Maybe I can generate a bit of life and reflect on the old as if it’s new again.